Domestic timber proving popular

Walking along ‘wooden street’, visitors to Lesdrevtech-2011 see that forestries are responding to public demand

The International Lesdrevtech-2011 Exhibition in Minsk displayed a wide range of frames for guesthouses, bath-houses and wells, as well as a selection of arbours, swings and small decorative architectural structures. They weren’t prototypes, manufactured especially for the exposition, but constructions which forestries can produce in significant volumes.

Gennady Shutro, chief engineer at Starye Dorogi experimental forestry, tells us that frameworks from rounded timber enjoy great demand, as people realise that plastic isn’t as beautiful, or ecologically friendly, as wood. In fact, plastic lasts only a little longer than timber, with many people becoming converted to the idea of using natural materials. With production re-organisation and the timely installation of new drying lines and machine-tools, forestries countrywide have quickly adjusted to clients’ wishes. Today, anyone can purchase finishing materials, such as floor and glazing mouldings, floor and exterior boards, alongside frameworks from rounded timber, directly from Starye Dorogi forestry. Many other forestries are following suit, with orders tailored to meet individual needs.

The range of exhibited timber consumer goods was impressive, with plenty of spade and axe handles, spoons, rolling pins and cutting boards on display. Previously, people might have had to visit several shops to find a new axe handle; although the range was worthy, prices were very high. This year, forestries have started to manufacture these types of goods at affordable prices, due to the deepening of wood processing.

Ostrovets forestry, alongside others, uses every offcut to produce useful, good quality, cheap goods, enjoying great popularity. Igor Kurochkin, the Head of Production and Sales Department, explains, “When commercial structures began to occupy this niche, forestry workers were embarrassed, because they couldn’t produce simple items for people although they did have timber. From the point of view of spending on materials, there are almost no costs.”

As a result of advanced wood processing, forestries have almost no waste to dispose of; even sawdust and shavings are used — made into fuel briquettes. Much has been spoken about these in recent years, although they are yet to be seen on the market. Leonid Demyanik, who heads the Belarusian Forestry Ministry’s Department for Production and Sales, tells us, “At present, people don’t have boilers able to use fuel briquettes, so most are exported. However, the manufacture of this type of fuel in Belarus is expanding. When people begin to shift to new boilers, with high efficiency, they’ll finally understand that it’s much quicker and more feasible to heat houses with briquettes than firewood. By that time, we’ll be ready for enhanced demand. We’re keen to remind potential customers that briquettes are produced in our country and are awaiting buyers.”

Our forestries have made great progress, with this year’s Lesdrevtech-2011 being interesting and useful for specialists and ordinary citizens alike.

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